A Vancouver Island woman known for growing giant gourds carved out a win after competing in a province-wide pumpkin competition.
Kerri van Kooten-Perras from Campbell River placed first at B.C.’s Annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Langley on Saturday, Oct. 7.
“I can’t seem to keep anything else alive other than my pumpkin,” laughed Kooten-Perras in an interview with CHEK News.
Her Atlantic giant pumpkin named Walter weighed in at 1,152 lbs., says Giant Pumpkins British Columbia, which organized the event. That was about 25 lbs. heavier than the second-place pumpkin.
“Thanks to everyone who had a hand in putting on the event – it was fantastic to meet other growers and see the enthusiasm for this crazy hobby,” said Kooten-Perras in a Facebook post.
The win marks a personal best for Kooten-Perras. In 2017 her pumpkin weighed in at 1,074 lbs., placing third at the event, and this year she was happy to be competing again.
“After two years of an empty patch, I’m pretty happy with having something growing – introducing Walter!” Kooten-Perras said in mid-August, noting at the time the pumpkin’s future was uncertain.
But she said it was “determined to survive,” adding, “Right now Walter measures out to be around 860 pounds, but he’s a bit of an odd shape, so it’s tough to accurately measure.”
Now Walter’s back on the Island.
“Walter has now settled into his new home at Coastal Blacks Pumpkin Fest. He has met some new barnyard friends and is looking forward to all his visitors,” said Kooten-Perras.
Giant Pumpkins B.C. says its event, a part of the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth, is the only world-recognized pumpkin weigh-off in Western Canada.
More photos are posted here.